Your salt shakers may contain potentially dangerous chemicals we have never seen before.
Scientists recently discovered microplastics in 90% of table salt tested from ocean sources.
The salt tested came from around the world according to researchers from South Korea.
The samples they tested were a few years old, but since then, only more and more plastics have been put in the oceans (NOTE: the biggest source of microplastics is supposed to come from automobile tires, not items like plastic straws).
The presence of microplastics in the ocean has been known since 2017 when it was first reported in the British scientific journal, “Nature.”
Because table salt is sourced from the ocean, the question then became, just how much of it was making it onto our tables and into our food?
Nearly all the samples indeed contained microplastics.
While some may not sprinkle much table salt onto their food, table salt is also found in processed foods.
So, what are your options?
First, avoid processed foods with added salt.
Second, look for salts sourced from dead oceans.
For instance, Himalayan salt (pink salt) is from an ocean that existed long before plastics.
The same goes for Redmond salt (grey), which is mined in Redmond, Utah.
Even better, not only do pink and grey salts still provide the same flavor in dishes, they are a great source of vital minerals, unlike table salt.
But just what are the potential dangers of microplastics long-term?
It is actually unknown at the present time, but one concern is that it may pose similar harmful effects that plastics containing BPA are known to cause.
BPA becomes an issue when the plastic is warmed.
For example, take plastic water bottles.
When the water bottle reaches a warm temperature, like if you left it in your car on a spring day, BPA leaches out of the plastic and into your water.
These microparticles of plastic, BPA, and other chemicals are then consumed and enter our warm bodies.
Previous studies have shown BPA to be toxic.
The chemical is known to be disruptive to the endocrine system by way of the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones.
Even though many countries have outlawed BPA, plastics that contain BPA is already in the oceans.
Another potentially dangerous chemical in plastics is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the main polymer used to produce clear plastic bottles.
It has also been shown to affect the hormonal system.
The concern raised by the National Institute of Health is that this widespread chemical found in clear plastic containers did not receive much press coverage because the report mitigated cancer risks, and most of the plastic industry tended to highlight that aspect of the study.
Research has shown that BPA can mimic the neurological properties of estrogen.
However, a more recent investigation published in Environmental Health Perspectives has shown that in some cases, BPA-free PET containers might leach more estrogen-like chemicals.
An increased estrogen level could be a significant problem for men, and receiving an artificial boost in estrogen is not necessarily good for the health of women either.
The simple solution is to use glass or metal containers for food and liquids.
Even still, this does not mean these same chemicals aren’t getting into our bodies via salt.
Until a more definitive study comes out on the effects of microplastics, some people are avoiding processed food with added salt and consume salt from ancient sources instead.
However, do not think you should get rid of salt in your diet altogether.
Salt is a vital nutrient, and without it, electrolyte imbalances can cause severe muscle cramps and major cardiac issues.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the importance of salt in your diet and how outdated studies are being used to determine the government’s recommendation of salt use for Americans.